Rules

1) Awards

a. Whitney Awards will be given for the following categories

i. Romance

ii. Mystery/Suspense

iii. Speculative Fiction

iv. General Young Adult Fiction

v. Speculative Young Adult Fiction

vi. Middle Grade Fiction

vii. Historical

viii. General Fiction

ix. Best Youth Novel of the Year

x. Best Novel of the Year

xi. Best Novel by a New Author (for special eligibility requirements, see 2.i.)

b. Categories may be split if enough books in a subgenre are nominated. Number of books required to fill a subgenre category will be determined by the Whitney Committee.


 

2) Eligibility for Awards

a. Definition: “novel” in these rules refers to a work of fiction that is at least 50,000 words in length.

i. See exception for Best Youth Fiction, 2.k.

b. Publication date must be between January 1st and December 31st of the award year.

c. Novels must be written by a member or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

d. Novels are eligible whether or not the author is a member of LDStorymakers, Inc.

e. Novels are eligible whether or not they have been published by traditional LDS publishers.

ii. Accepted formats include e-book or hard copy publication.

f. Re-releases, second-editions, reprints or revisions of the same book are not eligible unless they are in the same calendar year. Release date is determined by the first date the book is available for immediate purchase. If a book is re-released or re-published in the same calendar year, i.e. a revised version is uploaded to Kindle, the book that is eligible for the Whitney is the version currently available at the time the author is contacted per confirmation of their nominations. And this is the version that will be sent to the judges.  If there are multiple versions/editions available, be aware that we cannot control which version the academy will read and vote on if the book becomes a finalist. But we can send out a PDF by email and hope to steer them to the original version. We encourage authors to carefully consider when they make their book release available and to understand that original release will lock in the publication date.

g. Novels written or published by members of the Whitney Awards Committee are not eligible during any year that author has served on the committee.

h. Novels written or published by Whitney Awards Judges are not eligible during any year that author has served as a judge, in any category the judge has adjudicated.

i. For the award Best Novel by a New Author, the nominated novel must be the first novel published by the author in any format and be a finalist in their genre category. In the event that there are not at least five new authors in the genre finals, judges will be asked to recommend titles of debut authors they evaluated that they feel should be considered for the award. Depending on judge recommendations, there may be more than five titles in this category.

j. For the awards in the Best Youth Fiction categories, the work must be greater than 20,000 words.

k. If a Youth Fiction novel is a nominated for Best Novel by a New Author, then the novel must be the first work of fiction published by the author in any format, greater than 20,000 words.


 

3) Nominations

a. The nominator must provide:

i. The Title and Name of Author of the nominated work.

ii. The Nominator’s name, email address, and contact information.

iii. The Nominator’s age; the nominator must be older than twelve years.

b. A novel may not be nominated by the novel’s author, publisher or publisher’s employee, or any other party who has a monetary interest in the work.

c. Nominations may be sent to the Whitney Awards Committee by mail or electronically.

d. Nominations may be made any time before December 31st of the award year.

e. The nominator may nominate each novel only once.

f. Any novel which receives five or more nominations. Once a book receives five nominations, the Whitney Committee will contact the author. The book will become an official nomination as soon as the author, or author’s representative, confirms word count and publication date, and the book will be placed on the Preliminary Awards Ballot. If this confirmation cannot be secured by January 10 of the following year—the year in which the award will be presented—the book may be deemed ineligible.

g. The Whitney Awards Committee may use its discretion to place novels into genre categories.


 

4) Judges

a. Five judges will be assigned to each genre category.

b. Each judge will read all nominated novels in that category, as directed by the Whitney Awards Committee.

c. Each judge will independently rate each novel, and deliver ratings to the Whitney Awards Committee.

d. Each judge will make their ratings independent of the other judges’ opinions, and will not need to disclose their rating to anyone except the Whitney Awards Committee.

e. Judges may consider un-nominated novels in the genre that fit the eligibility requirements.

f. Only one un-nominated novel can be a finalist in any awards category.


 

5) Voting

a. Final Ballots will be sent (either in print or electronic form) to all members of the Awards Academy no later than January 31st of the year following the award year.

b. The Awards Academy will consist of:

i. All eligible LDS authors.

1. To be eligible, an author must be a member of the LDS church and meet one of the following criteria.

a. Be a member of the LDStorymakers.

b. Be published by a traditional publisher (not self-published or vanity press) within the last five years.

c. Be a previous or current Whitney Awards Finalist.

ii. Eligible LDS publishing companies.

1. To be eligible, a publisher must publish at least three LDS novels during the awards year, by at least two different authors.

2. Each publisher will receive three Final Ballots regardless of size, distributed to the managing editor.

iii. Other professionals in the industry (such as bookstores, distributors, critics and media, etc) as determined by the Whitney Awards Committee.

iv. Exceptions and additions to the Awards Academy can be made by a majority vote of the Whitney Awards Committee.

c. In each award category, the option “No Award” must be offered as a voting option.

i. If the majority result of any category is “No Award” then no award will be granted in that category for that award year.

d. Final Ballots must be returned to the Whitney Awards Committee no later than 15 days before the Whitney Awards presentation.

e. No Final Ballot may be opened except by members of the Whitney Awards Committee.

i. At least two members of the Whitney Awards Committee must be present when any ballots are opened and counted.

f. The finalist which receives the greatest number of votes will be declared the winner of the Whitney Award.

g. In the event of a tie, all tied finalists will receive the Whitney Award.

h. All award results must be kept secret, known only to members of the Whitney Awards Committee until the presentation of the awards.

i. The Whitney Awards Committee will not release detailed voting information to the public, either before or after the award ceremony.

j. An individual book can be a finalist in only one genre category.

k. An individual book can be a finalist in up to three categories (one genre category, Best Novel by a New Author, and Best Novel of the Year), and can win in any or all of those categories.


 

6) Whitney Awards Committee

a. The Whitney Awards Committee will consist of up to seven members, including the Whitney Awards Committee President.

b. Members of the committee will be appointed by the Whitney Awards Committee President.

c. The Whitney Awards Committee President will be appointed by the Whitney Awards Liason, a member of the LDStorymakers Executive Committee. No Storymakers Executive Committee members who are employed by or affiliated with a publisher may make decisions relating to the Whitney Awards.


 

7) Amendments

a. Once ratified, changes to these rules can only be made by a majority vote of the Whitney Awards Committee.

b. If changes are made to these rules, they must be reported to the LDStorymakers Whitney Awards Liason within two days, and announced publically within seven days.


 

8 ) Miscellaneous

a. These rules only define the operations of the Whitney Awards contest for novels by LDS authors, and do not limit the operations of the Whitney Awards organization or the Whitney Awards Committee.


 

9) Ratification

a. These rules were ratified on Jan 22, 2012.